Stocks & Equities

Definity raises $1.4B in largest Canadian IPO of 2021

Definity Financial Corp., the property and casualty insurer formerly known as Economical Mutual Insurance Co., raised about $1.4 billion (US$1.1 billion) in the largest Canadian initial public offering of the year.

A total of 63.6 million shares were sold for $22 apiece, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said in a release late Wednesday, the top end of the range it had targeted. The company is also selling another $700 million in shares in a private placement to the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and Swiss Re.

Definity’s offering is the third-largest IPO of a Canadian company in the past five years and a rare new offering from a financial firm in a year dominated by technology deals.

The insurer’s offering also completes its six-year march toward public markets that follows a similar path to the one Manulife Financial Corp. and Sun Life Financial Inc., Canada’s two largest life-insurance companies, took two decades ago. Those companies, like Definity, transitioned from mutual insurers, owned by policyholders, to shareholder-owned public companies…read more.

This 26-year-old Canadian CEO is taking his autonomous truck company public in US$5B deal

Alex Rodrigues knows all about automation.

It’s a fascination that began back when he was a kid in suburban Alberta, building his own working robot in the seventh grade.

Just under a decade later in 2016, after several software stints and dropping out of the engineering program at University of Waterloo, he founded his own automation company that specializes in self-driving trucks.

On Thursday, that company — Embark Trucks Inc., based out of San Francisco — started trading on the Nasdaq. It’s now made the 26-year-old Canadian one of the youngest heads of a publicly-held business, valued at about US$5 billion.

The company went public after a merger with special purpose firm Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp II., run by a team of multiple former executives from Canadian utility companies.

Palo Alto-based venture capital firm DCVC Management LLC holds an almost 17 per cent stake in Embark — worth about US$630 million. And that firm has kept upping their money towards Embark round after round with every proceeding series of funding. Other major investors include Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global and Y Combinator…read more.

EV start-up Rivian is valued above $90 billion after market debut, higher than GM or Ford

Shares of Rivian Automotive soared more than 26% on Wednesday, after the electric vehicle start-up made its market debut in one of the biggest IPOs this year.

Rivian priced its shares at $78 a piece Tuesday night, above its range of $72 and $74. The stock began trading at $106.75 per share, giving the company a market valuation of $91 billion. At that level, Rivian is already worth more than traditional auto makers Ford ($77 billion) and General Motors ($87 billion).

The stock trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol RIVN.

Rivian, which is backed by Amazon and Ford, has attracted intense interest from investors looking to capitalize on the fast-growing EV market. But the company has yet to establish a business model and expects no more than $1 million in revenue for the third quarter…read more.

Cenovus launching share buyback, doubling dividend

Cenovus Energy Inc. is rewarding patient shareholders as surging cash flow puts the oil and gas producer on track to hit its debt target.

In a release early Wednesday, Cenovus announced it will double its quarterly dividend to 3.5 cents per share as of the fourth quarter, and said its board also approved a plan to repurchase up to 10 per cent of its common shares.

It’s equipped to do so after higher oil prices and a 71 per cent year-over-year increase in production helped push the company’s cash from operating activities to $2.14 billion, up 192 per cent from a year earlier when $732 million was generated.

In the release, Cenovus said it’s poised to achieve its target of sub-$10 billion in net debt “imminently.”

“Our free funds flow capacity will support swiftly advancing toward our longer-term net debt target of less than $8 billion, while balancing growth in shareholder returns,” said Cenovus President and Chief Executive Officer Alex Pourbaix in a release…read more.

Elon Musk Says Will Sell Tesla Stock if UN Can Describe How $6B Solves Hunger Crisis

Elon Musk said he’d sell Tesla stock and donate the proceeds if the UN could prove that just a tiny percentage of his wealth could save tens of millions of lives.

Musk was responding to comments by David Beasley, the director of the UN’s World Food Programme, who told CNN’s “Connect the World” last week that a $6 billion donation from billionaires such as Musk and Jeff Bezos could help 42 million people who he said were “literally going to die if we don’t reach them.”

Musk is the world’s richest man and recently became the first person in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ever to have an estimated net worth north of $300 billion.

The index currently lists the Tesla CEO’s net worth at $311 billion, meaning $6 billion would be 2% of his wealth. Such a donation would still leave him besting the world’s second-richest person, Bezos, by at least $100 billion. Both men’s net worth consists largely of stock in companies they founded…read more.